If someone were to ask you…”what things in life really make a big difference in people’s lives?”…What would you say? I bet some people will say, well, for one, money makes a big difference. Others may say, well, family makes a big difference. And, still others may say that education makes a big difference. I guess there would be as many different responses as the number of persons asked. So, that if I would ask 1000 persons I may get 1000 different things that would make a big difference in people’s lives.
I spent some time milling this question over in my own mind, and after eliminating some of the same responses you and many other people would make, like money, education, family, etc., I came up with the following 6 things that make a big difference. Before I give you my list, let me hurry to say that money is not on my list. Money is not one of those things that make a big difference simply because money has a subtle way of ruining things for so many people. More people have gotten a lot of money only to, after a short while, become so attached to their money that other people become obsolete and unimportant to them.
Education likewise has caused some people to behave like bigots and egocentric, know-it-all people who rather than encourage people push people away. So, education is not on my list. Nor is family on my list, because family, while crucially important to us, is that default thing that everyone has and needs…family is always there making a difference in our lives! It is those little things that make such a big difference. And everyday we have numerous opportunities to practice those little things with enough power to influence people’s lives. When these little things are practiced they produce marvelous results for you!
Well, here’s my list of the things that make a big difference in your life:
1. Say “Masha Danki,” …”Thank You!” Would you believe it, such a small thing, yet when used has a powerful and profound effect on everyone around you! Gratitude is a powerful force that can transform the one who says it; and it transforms the one who receives it. Gratitude from the heart, expressed humbly, heals as it praises. Next time your garbage collector from Serlimar comes by to pick up your garbage, look him in the eye and say “Thank you for taking my garbage away,” and watch what happens! I guarantee that your garbage collection service from then on will suddenly become the best on your entire street! We need to stop taking things for granted and start being grateful and audibly express gratitude everyday. It is one of those little things that have long lasting positive repercussions! An attitude of gratitude and of saying “Thanks” can change your life for the better for ever and it can change the lives of those to whom you express it.
2. Be Kind and show Kindness: Listen to that elderly lady tell her long story as you attempt to hurry out the store with your groceries. It may mean being a bit late for your next stop, but your kindness in just listening to that senior citizen will give you a greater sense of community, compassion and appreciation for others; and it will significantly calm YOU down when you’re feeling stressed and hurried. Somebody said…”Kindness expands, and it fills the space with goodwill and cooperation.” So, the second little thing that makes a huge difference is being kind, that’s a condition of the mind. And showing kindness is a condition of the mind put into actual practice!
3. Listen Attentively: God blessed us with two ears and one mouth, and we ought to use them in that proportion. Listening makes you appear more charming, too, so there’s a bonus. We have two ears with which to listen. Two, and not one, because we are expected to listen well. One mouth, because we ought to speak less. When you listen attentively you’ll be amazed how well you connect with the other person. The other person will enjoy your presence and feel elated with your attention. There is magic in good listening, the magic of understanding, of connectivity, of rapport and good will.
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